My nephew and I have enjoyed continued communication via email over the past few weeks. It has been really wonderful. He mentioned that he was going to be in our neck of the woods (fairly close anyway) over the summer and I offered to bring the kids and meet him for lunch. I told him if he was too busy I would understand though, that this was his trip and he should do only what he wanted to. He replied that he would LOVE to meet and even if he were too busy he would make the time!!!!!! SUCH a sweet kid.
Then came the bombshell…..his Mom, my sister IM’d me and basically said she didn’t think it was a good idea. She said that this is supposed to be a fun trip for him and that she doesn’t think he should have to explain who I am to the people he is staying with. I just sort of sat there staring at my computer screen, tears streaming down my face.
After regaining some composure I told her the fact that I am still a secret after all these years makes me feel like I am some sort of disease that must be kept a dirty secret at all costs. She became off the charts angry and said she wasn’t going to let me talk about HER FAMILY like that and disconnected.
Again I just sort of sat there rather stunned. She did log back on and we continued our brief interaction but after that it was cold and uncomfortable. I begged, said please a lot, asked her to try and understand but to no avail. She said I don’t get how difficult this has all been on them. My begging is the only thing I regret. I still find it challenging to be true to myself without guilt or fear getting in the way.
I really feel that I have gone out of my way to understand and to stick with this in spite of the fact that after five years of “reunion” I am still in the closet. Maybe I’m not being fair. Maybe I am not truly understanding their position but I don’t believe that is the case. The truth of the matter is that after all these years I am still kept at arms length covered in a shroud of secrecy and shame. Shame. Imagine how that makes me feel. I know it’s not all about me. If I didn’t understand that I would have been shouting my identity from the rooftops long ago considering I know where ALL of my birth mother’s relatives are and how to reach them. I know about my Uncles and my Aunts, my Cousins and my Nieces and Nephews but other than one aunt (who already knew about me) I have not made contact with any of them.
I’m not obsesssing over this which means I AM making huge strides but it has caused me a fair amount of sadness. It’s just not overtaking every aspect of my day so I know I’m getting better at this. However I do feel it deserves some attention. I think what little there is of our virtually non-existant relationship is crumbling from the weight of their secrecy and lies. Not one of them (my nephew excluded) is willing to give ME a chance. So I thought I might write about it here, just get it out in the “open” in a non-threatening way. Maybe it will help me put it in perspective because I think it’s time I prepare myself for the possibility that this “reunion” may be over. I think I have come to the point where I am no longer willing to comprimise my integrity and my self-worth. I really thought that after time my sister would realize that keeping me a secret and lying about my identity was affecting HER integrity but no such luck.